Architetto Nicola Isetta

gross floor area 820 m²

2015 competition

The project is the competition entry to reuse the ruins of the fortress of Cresmina in Cascais (Portugal). The ruin is part of the landscape. The landscape is a palimpsest whose layers history has written and erased. The project is a new layer in the palimpsest of history. The new walls of the art center are inserted in the ruin and they define new spaces together. The roof covers everything and makes the ruin an exposed object itself. Three new gardens are defined by this dialogue: the entrance garden, the artist garden and the sculpture garden. The entrance garden gives access to the lobby and has an outdoor space for the cafe.

The lobby works like a lens to the sea-view and brings down through a slight slope to the gallery and workshops. A stair and a lift lead to the lecture hall and administration office on the first floor. The gallery embeds two walls' remains and receive diffuse lighting from five canon Lumiere. The artist pavilion is in the restored powder storehouse and has its own private garden. The sculpture garden is in front of the sea. The glass walls of the art center reflect and multiply the horizon ad infinitum in a metaphysical game of mirrors that surrounds the garden. During the night the art center will be gleaming on the coast like a lighthouse and as in the days of yore you will see from the ships the fortress of Cresmina still alive.